Saturday, December 14, 2013

Safe Spaces - August

I have never read an article about LGBT student issues before, so reading this was very interesting to me. I never really realized all the issues that are still existent today and all of the problems that still need to be addressed. School should always be a place to go and feel comfortable. Students need to be able to go to classes thinking about what questions they have from the homework or how well they are going to do on the test. Never should a student have to walk to class thinking about where they might sit because certain people make them feel bad about themselves, or if they really should go to class today because the teacher labels them and makes them feel different and out of place. "To the extent that teachers, school administrators, and college professors create an atmosphere in which difference is not only tolerated but expected, explored, and embraced, students will be more likely to develop perspectives that result in respectful behaviors." (August, Page 83). School needs to be a safe place, and everyone needs to recognize that. Its not right that students feel out of place at school for any reason, and I'm just disgusted that teachers and other students would make them feel that way. 

It's not hard to emotionally scar someone by taunting, bullying, or excluding someone, so why don't more people take these issues more seriously? “Words invite or exclude, recognize or erase, empower or intimidate, examine or assume. Far from what the children chant would have let us believe ,words are sticks and stones. And those sticks and stones can either build bridges or break bones” (August, Page 95)

More action needs to be taken to create more, and more effective safe spaces. More awareness needs to be spread and disciplinary actions need to be carried out to prevent LGBT students from feeling like they are the only ones going through these issues and know that nothing is there fault. “Good intentions are not enough; trying to see all students as the same is not enough. Being a fair-minded individual is not enough. We argue that educators must publicly commit to creating classroom climates of inclusivity and respect with the pledged cooperation of all students. Only then can we create classrooms that are safe for LGBT youth.” (August, Page 99)

These ideas reminded me of an experience I had in class when i realized that the boys and girls were lined up into separate lines when ever they go out into the hall. When the teacher tells her students to line up into a boys line and a girls line, where does a child who looks like a boy but feels more like a girl go? Or a student that looks like a girl but feels more like a girl? Or maybe a student that sometimes feels like they could be considered both? There is a lot of room, in this seemingly simple request, for confusion and with that a student may feel out of place or uncomfortable. This as we have learned can cause the student to act out or shut down.

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